December 14, 1994 |
In the next few weeks, after the gifts have been opened, the tree taken down and party decorations packed away, some less cheery reminders of Christmas will linger as holiday bills arrive. Free spenders may find themselves unable to handle their mounting debts. But financial experts warn that falling behind with payments can be expensive and jeopardize future borrowing plans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 1990 |
U.S. Secret Service agents have uncovered a fraud ring that was funneling sensitive credit information out of the TRW Credit Data Division, one of the nation's largest credit bureaus, authorities said Friday. The investigation, conducted with the aid of TRW security personnel, is nearly complete, The Times has learned. Several sealed indictments have been obtained, according to the Secret Service, which investigates credit card fraud.
October 4, 1998 |
Home buyers are no longer being penalized for searching long and hard for the best mortgage rate and terms. Now, thanks to a group of lenders who worked to persuade the three credit bureaus to change their method of rating mortgage applicants, you can scout around for the best deals until you are satisfied you can't do any better. "This is huge," says Ginny Ferguson, a Pleasanton, Calif., mortgage professional who led the assault as chairman of the National Assn.
July 10, 2011 |
The higher your credit scores, the better shot you have of getting a loan or credit card application approved. Improving your credit scores takes time, but it can be done. Start by getting free copies of your three major credit reports at the government-authorized site annualcreditreport.com. 1. Check your reports for accuracy. Financial columnist Liz Weston, author of "Your Credit Score," says to look for credit cards or other accounts that aren't yours, negative entries that are more than seven years old, duplicate past-due items and incorrect Social Security number or date of birth.
June 13, 1999 |
When you've made your monthly home mortgage payment on time for years, you naturally assume that you've built up a good credit history. That credit report or history, in turn, can be crucial in helping you borrow money elsewhere, get a job or even get insurance. Yet large numbers of American homeowners are the unsuspecting victims of a little-known but growing trend among certain lenders: Their payment histories are being kept secret, never reported to any credit bureau.
September 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Policy changes by two of the biggest players in the mortgage market could open doors to home purchases this fall by thousands of people who were hard hit by the housing bust and who thought they'd have to wait for years before owning again. Fannie Mae, the federally controlled mortgage investor, has come up with a "fix" designed to help large numbers of consumers whose short sales were misidentified as foreclosures by the national credit bureaus. Under previous rules, short-sellers would have to wait up to seven years before becoming eligible for a new mortgage to buy a house.
April 11, 2010 |
Dear Liz: My husband racked up more than $17,000 in credit card debt and negotiated a settlement for $4,000 last year. We received a 1099-C form for $13,000 of forgiven debt, which we have to claim as income. That puts our modified adjusted gross income over the threshold of being able to claim tuition and college expense deductions for our three kids and myself. We now owe more than $11,000 in taxes and we don't have the cash to pay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Answer: You may think owing an $11,000 tax bill because you saved $13,000 on a credit bill is bad enough.
January 27, 2013 |
Dear Liz: I paid all of my old collection accounts except for two, which now are beyond the statute of limitations. I would like to find the best way to negotiate with the collection agencies without getting sued. Even though the original delinquency was over four years ago, the agencies are reporting these every month as current debt, which is really hurting my credit score. My intent is to offer a lump-sum settlement amount if they will remove the report from my credit file with the bureaus, or alternately in return for a "paid" notation on my report file.
March 30, 2014 |
Dear Liz: How can I get a clear and complete picture of the debts that are hurting my credit score? I have my credit report already. I'm a bit lost and I need to get my credit cleared up to buy a home. Answer: You actually have three credit reports, one at each of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Your mortgage lender is likely to request FICO credit scores from each of the three, so you need to check all three reports. You get your reports for free at one site: http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
November 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Could the real estate market be heading for a new financial storm? Maybe. Some mortgage and credit experts worry that billions of dollars of home equity credit lines that were extended a decade ago during the housing boom could be heading for big trouble soon, creating a new wave of defaults for banks and homeowners. That's because these credit lines, which are second mortgages with floating rates and flexible withdrawal terms, carry mandatory "resets" requiring borrowers to begin paying both principal and interest on their balances after 10 years.